London (GBR), 30 August 2012 – The Equestrian events of the London 2012 Paralympic Games got off to a partly wet and windy start for Grades II and Ib in the team test today, but little could dampen the spirits of the riders and their teams as they began their Paralympic journey. There was a genuine buzz about Greenwich Park and British riders did not disappoint the enthusiastic crowds as they battled with the elements, taking pole position in both Grades. The spectators, many for whom this would be a first Dressage experience, were sensitive to the needs of the athletes in terms of cheering and congratulated them when they saw it was safe to do so. For many of the riders, this was probably the first time they and their horses have ever competed in front of such large crowds so it truly marked the beginning of what is likely to be a unique experience.
In the name of the Team The first two days of competition are all about the team with riders in each Grade competing in the Team test. However, as there are some riders competing here as individuals (a team is composed of a minimum of three and maximum of four individuals), they also take part in the team test but their scores do not go towards any final marks, making it a practice run of sorts.
Greenwich, UK – The Para-Equestrian Dressage competition of the 2012 Paralympic Games kicked off Thursday with Grade II and Grade 1b riders completing their Team Tests on a day that ran the gamut of English weather. The U.S. sent three representatives into the main arena with Rebecca Hart and Dr. Dale Dedrick competing during the Grade II morning session and Jonathan Wentz competing in afternoon Grade 1b competition.
Riders for Great Britain set the pace in both divisions with Natasha Baker and Cabral, competing as an Individual, scoring 76.095% in the Grade II Test and Lee Pearson riding Gentleman scoring 74.682% for their Grade 1b Test. Wentz leads the U.S. after being awarded a 70.364% from the Ground Jury of Kjell Myhre, Sarah Rodger, Gudrun Hofinga, Freddy Leyman and Anne Prain.
Wentz (Richardson, TX) and Kai Handt’s NTEC Richter Scale demonstrated the strength of their partnership that has spanned four years producing a forward, accurate test. The 18-year-old Shire cross gelding was completely unfazed by the electricity of the arena and crisp damp weather. The pair has been working on improving the walk movements and halts and their diligence paid off in London.
London (GBR), 28 August 2012 – With just 24 hours to go to the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, excitement and great expectations are building up in the Olympic venues dotted around the city whilst record ticket sales – over 2.2 million tickets sold – are already hailing this edition as the greatest ever.
This will be the fifth time Para-Equestrian Dressage is on the programme but it is the first time it is held in a country with such a strong Para-Equestrian culture, so strong that since it became a Paralympic sport in 1996, Great Britain has held the team title on every occasion as well as leading the individual medal count by a whopping margin.
Seventy-eight riders and 77 horses (two riders will be using the same horse) will be competing over the six days of competition from Thursday 30 August to Wednesday 4 September. The athletes are divided into five Grades (Ia, Ib, II, III, IV, V) and will be looking to impress the judges in the Team Test, Individual Championship Test and Freestyle, with 11 sets of medals up for grabs, two per Grade and the overall team medals.
London, England, United Kingdom – August 20, 2012 – With passports in hand and the final tack box loaded, the United States Paralympic Equestrian Team is on their way to London. Chef d’Equipe Missy Ransehousen and equestrians Rebecca Hart, top ten FEI Paralympian Jonathan Wentz, Donna Ponessa, and Dale Dedrick will shortly accompany their horses when they arrive in the United Kingdom. From the logistics of international travel to the intense competition, the United States Para-Equestrian Dressage Team has a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.
As the only athlete in the Paralympics that has four legs, these high-performance horses will be traveling first-class aboard a FedEx Express MD-11 with the finest of luxuries. The amenities include: groom accompaniment, social interaction when necessary, their own team veterinarian, and a large box stall for each horse.
Once landed the horses will be stabled in Surrey where they will convene with their riders until August 24th when they make their way to Greenwich Park. The horses, grooms, and trunks will go through a strict screening process, which includes detection canines and a full sweep of all compartments within the lorry and trailer. Horses are allowed to begin arriving at the Greenwich Park Equestrian facilities starting August 24, 2012 with the FEI Horse Inspection on August 29, 2012. Seventy-eight horses are expected to arrive at the Paralympic Stables flying, driving, and arriving by water transportation from 26 nations around the world.
Lexington, KY – The United States Equestrian Federation has named the team for the 2012 Paralympic Games. The four athletes representing the U.S. in London turned heads at the Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and Selection Trial held in Gladstone, NJ in June.
The following two U.S. team veterans and two rising stars will compose the team:
Rebecca Hart (Unionville, PA) and Jessica Ransehousen’s Lord Ludger
Jonathan Wentz (Richardson, TX) and Kai Handt’s NTEC Richter Scale
Donna Ponessa (New Windsor, NY) and Wesley Dunham’s Western Rose
Dale Dedrick (Ann Arbor , MI) and her own Bonifatius
Reigning USEF National Champion Hart makes her second trip to the Paralympic Games after having represented her country at the 2008 Games. The Grade II rider will utilize the experience that earned her national titles in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 when she competes in Greenwich Park.
Lausanne (SUI), 22 June 2012 – The FEI has today published the list of nominated entries for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The list is now available on the FEI website here.
The list details the athletes and horses that have achieved the minimum eligibility standards required for London 2012, and qualified National Federations will make their final selection of teams and individuals from this list.
Athletes and horses had from 1 January 2010 to 17 June 2012 to achieve the minimum eligibility standards in Para-Dressage, the sole equestrian discipline at the Paralympic Games.
Gladstone, NJ – June 19, 2012 – Following the approval of the USEF High Performance Working Group and the USEF Executive Committee, the FEI Nominated Entry for the U.S. Para-Equestrian Team for the 2012 Paralympic Games is as follows.
Athletes and horse are listed in ranked order based on the results from the 2012 USEF Selection Trials & National Para-Equestrian Championship:
1. Rebecca Hart and Jessica Ransehousen’s Lord Ludger
2. Jonathan Wentz and Kai Handt’s NTEC Richter Scale
3. Donna Ponessa and Wesley Dunham’s Western Rose
4. Dale Dedrick and her own Bonifatius
5. Donna Ponessa and Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center’s PG Ganda
6. Jonathan Wentz and Michele Miles’ Silvano
7. Mary Jordan and Deecie Denison’s Sebastian
8. Rebecca Hart and Jessica Ransehousen’s Carlingfords Taldi
9. Wendy Fryke and her own Lateran
10. Elizabeth Pigott and Regina Cristo’s One Night Stand
11. Mary Jordan and her own P. Sparrow Socks
12. Robin Brueckmann and her own Radetzky
Lexington, KY – U.S. Athletes wishing to be considered to compete at the 2012 Paralympic Games must complete their 2012 Paralympic Games Registration. Registration must be completed online by April 1, 2012.
In order to receive registration information all interested individuals should email Laureen Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org the following information:
Lausanne (SUI), 10 February 2012 – The London 2012 Paralympic Games look set to take Paralympic Equestrian into the history books for many reasons, as we get one step closer on the eve of the 200-day countdown (11 February).
Sales of Paralympic Equestrian tickets for London 2012 have already broken records.
More than 40,000 tickets were sold before Christmas last year, dramatically overtaking the previous record of 33,000 for the 2008 Paralympic Equestrian events held in Hong Kong.
Mexico will also be making its Paralympic Equestrian début on 30 August – 4 September in Greenwich Park represented by a team of four riders, and Ireland will be competing for the very first time as a Paralympic Equestrian Team.
Lexington, KY – Coming off of a strong performance at the recent Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CPEDI3* Team Qualifier for the Paralympics in Wellington, FL USA’s Para-Dressage team has earned a spot at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. “It’s very exciting,” says Chef d’Equipe Missy Ransehousen “I was very pleased with not only the team but with the individuals. They are a good group of people, working hard, and going forward with a good plan in mind.”
Team USA bounced back from a 2nd place finish at the Gold Coast Opener CPEDI3* and earned an important victory over Canada in the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge.
Though they are excited to be London bound the USA Para-Equestrians won’t be taking time off before the games begin. There are two more CPEDI3* events on the schedule, one in Katy, Texas and one San Diego, California, and the Paralympic selection trials in June.
Team USA earned their qualification by virtue of a Second place finish on the FEI Para-Equestrian team rankings list.